January 2024: We are in the process of our annual update. We added many new camps so are re-organizing.
Below is a list of camps and other opportunities that we are aware of that families may want to explore for children with disabilities/ special health care needs. Children’s Resource Center- North does not endorse any of these camps and this information is provided only as a resource. When considering camps there can be many options depending on your child’s needs and interests. You can talk to camps to see if they can accommodate your child or other parents who may have already had their children participate.
Cost of camps: Camps are funded in a variety of ways and the costs can vary greatly. Childcare subsidies may assist with day camps that are taking the place of childcare. Scholarships or sliding fee scales may be available as well. You may be able to utilize CLTS funds for camp for respite and/or day camps for summer child care. Give us a call, 715-261-1906, if you need help navigating all these options or want more information.
Overnight camps for children with disabilities
- We hear from a lot of families how much they have enjoyed the Northwoods and family connections at Camp Awesum. Registration is open on Monday, January 15, 2024, at 9am (phone and online registration)- camps fill up very quickly. In 2024, there will be three 7-day family camps and one 5-day family camp.
- Rainbow’s End Day Camp s through Aspirus for children age 5-21 with special needs. Typically holds two sessions of week long (Monday-Friday) camps in July. Check their website for dates to be announced. $100 with costs offset by donations.
- Variety Chatter Matters Camp at UW Whitewater is available to children ages 5-15 who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication and their families. Camp is June 20-23, 2024. Deadline is Jan 15th.
- Easter Seals Camps in Wisconsin Dells. Several camp options at different times of the year including transition, respite, autism, and adults. Youth and Teen Sessions are for ages 7-18 with a special 4-day holiday session taking place between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
- Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt near Stevens Point. Week long camps for different types of disabilities including Blind/Low Vision, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Autism/Intellectual Disabilities, Epilepsy Diabetes. Wisconsin Lions Camp programs are free but have a lottery.
- Timbertop Camp: summer camp for youth with specific learning disabilities/ special needs including AD/HD, SLD, Title 1, OHI that is held at the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt near Stevens Point.
- Wisconsin Youth Leadership Forum– occurs yearly in the summer at Edgewood College in Madison. Become a part of the youth that lead us! This week-long forum is for high school students with disabilities who want to learn more about leadership, self-advocacy skills, and career awareness.
- Camp LuWiSoMo Joyful Hearts ministry is designed for individuals with developmental disabilities, providing a quality camping experience in a safe, Christian environment. All campers take part in the usual camp activities, but each activity is modified based on the needs of the camper. Located in Wild Rose, WI (south of Stevens Point)
- Camp Daniel is an organization dedicated to providing people with disabilities opportunities for personal, social, and spiritual growth. Camp Daniel is rooted in its summer camping program that offers people with disabilities access to safe and fun Northwoods camping experiences, where the physical, social, and spiritual needs, that each person’s disability requires, are lovingly met. In Marinette County.
- Numerous camps affiliated with the Paul Newman Foundation like Hole in the Wall Gang and Painted Turtle host weeks for specific disability groups across the country
- UW-Whitewater Wheelchair Basketball Camp for ages 8-18.
- Camp Independence is for youth with spina bifida. Located in northwest suburbs of Chicago.
- The American Diabetes Association offers Camp ADA/Needlepoint in Hudson, WI (on the Minnesota border).
- Also located in Hudson is Camp Avanti an intensive occupational therapy program within a rustic camp setting for children ages 6 to 15 who have learning disabilities and/or sensory processing dysfunction.
- Special Touch Ministry’s Summer Get Away has a camp-style retreat for people with intellectual or physical disabilities in Waupaca. “Functionally-appropriate programming, activities, and FUN in a Christian atmosphere.” Each location is staffed with medical professionals and other volunteer personnel.
- Badger Camp: have many options for campers ages 3-21 with intellectual disabilities. One or two week sessions. For older kids they have travel and primitive camp options too. Near Praire Du Chein.
- Camp Chi is located in southern Wisconsin and has several options for week long and multi-week camps that can extend to their day camps.
Local Camps for all children: we provide this list based on information we received from the camp or directly from families
- Contact your county 4-H for information on your local camp opportunities. You can hear more about how Camp Susan has accommodated campers in the past with this video: youtu.be/IK4PcchE2es
- Fort Wilderness camp near Rhinelander is another camp that parents have said their children with disabilities/ special health care needs have enjoyed
- YMCA’s Camp Nan A Bo Sho is located in Northeastern Wisconsin near Lakewood and offers multiple overnight camps in the summer starting at age 5.
- Bayfield County 4-H Summer Camp is available to youth not involved in 4-H as well as members.
- Summer Camps offered at Central Wisconsin Environmental Station (CWES) supports all campers’ physical, social, and mental well-being. CWES provides activities, opportunities and learning experiences for campers that meet the individual campers’ needs, capabilities, interests, and overall well-being. All hired CWES staff participates in a 1 week training session, including a day focused on Mental Health Training. This allows all staff to be prepared professionally for all camper’s overall well-being.
Local Summer Day Camps
- Discovery Education Station in Marshfield has day camps in the summer as well as other STEAM events. They are a provider through CLTS.
- YMCA Camp Sturtevant in Wausau offers day camps for the entire summer as well as other opportunities. They do accept the child care subsidy and have camper scholarships.
- YMCA of the Northwoods-located in Rhinelander, day camps for children ages 5 and up are available, in addition to child care for children from infancy through age 6. They do accept the child care subsidy, have camper scholarships available, and are listed as a CLTS provider. subsidy, have camper scholarships available, and are listed as a CLTS provider.
- Camp Jorn YMCA Day Camp-located in Manitowish Waters (and offers a shuttle bus from Arbor Vitae), this day camp has sessions by the week or by the day for children ages 5-14(must turn 5 by 9/1/24). Child care also offered for children 3mos to 12 years. They do accept the child care subsidy, have camper scholarships available, and are listed as a CLTS provider for respite care.
- YMCA Camp Alexander in South Wood County offers day camps based on weekly themes. No one is turned away from YMCA Camp Alexander for an inability to pay.
- UWSP Day camps offered at the Stevens Point, Marshfield, and Wausau campuses.
• For siblings of children with disabilities, WisconSibs has opportunities in different locations and age groups in Appleton and Door County.
• Fishing has no boundaries: first started in Hayward, now has chapters across the country including Eagle River. Provides fishing events as well as information on adaptive equipment. The largest event in Hayward takes place May 19-20, 2023.
• Empowered Dream Hunts is based in Mosinee (Wausau) and offers hunting trips to veterans, youth, and others with access barriers.
• Fishing Inspires Special Hearts (F.I.S.H.) offers fishing opportunities near Junction City (Portage Co).
• My Team Triumph involves team of endurance athletes with a person with a disability as captain
• Wisconsin Youth Leadership Forum– occurs every summer at Edgewood College in Madison. This week-long forum is for high school students with disabilities who want to learn more about leadership, self-advocacy skills, and career awareness.
• Crossways Self-Determination Camp at Pine Lake Camp in Waupaca is for those 18 and older with intellectual disabilities www.crosswayscamps.org/selfdetermination
Our partners at Family Voices of Wisconsin created this list of camps across the state a few years ago if you are looking outside the area: familyvoiceswi.org/resource-library/1304/.